Sustainable living is a growing trend, and its popularity is constantly on the rise. In the age of
climate change and scarce natural resources, the goal is to conserve as much as we can, to
reuse, repurpose and recycle as much as possible. Reducing the amount of energy we use, conserving
precious natural resources, being conscious about the pollution we create and making
efforts to decrease it are all among the main principles of sustainability.
Water is such a precious resource, and in dry areas such as Southern Nevada where this resource is scarce, it is
especially important to try and conserve it as much as possible. When it comes to plumbing
in our gardens and their watering, it is one of the aspects where water can be significantly
Greywater systems are on of the most cost-effective and efficient water-conserving methods for garden plumbing. It is also called laundry to landscape system. As the name suggests it is a system where the water from washing your laundry, i.e. from the washing machine, can be used to water your garden.
The water doesn’t have to come only from the washing machine; it can also come from
the sink, the shower or the tub. The used water you are going to reuse for some other
purpose, in this case in your garden, is called greywater. It is important to emphasize that
grey water is not harmful or toxic in any way. Otherwise, people would not use and
repurpose it for other things. Of course, this water should not be used for drinking, but it is
perfectly safe for your garden and landscape. It is, however, recommended to use natural,
plant-based soaps and detergents if you are using it for gardening purposes.
There are two ways of using the grey water: a diversion system and a plumbed-in system.
With a diversion system, the water is sent directly to your garden without being stored or
treated in any way, while a plumbed-in system includes pumps and a small irrigation system
underground. Both ways work well, but with the latter one, you may need to get some
permits. In any case, you should call a professional plumber who will advise you and install
Another sustainable plumbing solution for your garden is to utilize rainwater by installing a rain
barrel system. This way, you don’t have to use or reuse your own water, but simply make use of what nature gives you. You will require a tank which should be installed in an area likely to receive most rainfall or surface runoff. The water from the rain will collect inside, and it can be stored there until you need it. One method is to attach it to your gutters so the water from the roof could run into it. Or
you can simply find a place around your house or in your yard where you can put it for
optimal collection of rainwater. You can connect the tank to your home’s plumbing system,
and along with watering your garden, use it for your indoor household needs as well (greywater).
If you have a drip irrigation system set up for watering your garden, then you can increase your
efficieny by connecting the water tank to the system. Without wasting
water, and even without using your own water, the plants will receive the amount of water
they need, and you will not have to worry if you’ve forgotten to water them.
Written by Matt Jambrovic